• 'Dhural Buluuydha – A Noise in the Dark' by Lynne Gayford & Donna Gayford McLaren will be read in language (Supplied)Source: Supplied
A book swap event in Sydney is set to take place on Indigenous Literacy Day in the effort to boost literacy rates among Australia's first peoples.
By
Andrea Booth

26 Aug 2015 - 12:03 PM  UPDATED 1 Sep 2015 - 4:39 PM

The Great Book Swap Challenge will take place on Indigenous Literacy Day on Wednesday at the Museum of Contemporary Art to encourage Australians to give away a book in exchange for a book they have not read before.

A gold coin donation will go to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation to help translate books into first languages, and improve reading literacy in remote regions of Australia. 

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Indigenous Literacy Foundation program manager Tina Raye told NITV that the foundation hoped to raise more awareness among Australian youths about the challenges Indigenous communities face in regard to acquiring basic literacy skills.

"We hope the MCA event, with guest speaker Donna Gayford McLaren, will raise this awareness and celebrate the joys of reading with this rare opportunity of listening to a bilingual story," Ms Raye said. "Every little bit counts and helps to improve the literacy of Indigenous Australians in remote and isolated areas."  

Gamilaraay language teacher and author Donna Gayford McLaren is attending the event to foster an appreciation of Ausralia's first languages.   

Ms Gayford McClaren will  read her bilingual children's book Dhural Buluuydha – A Noise in the Dark, which she co-authored with her mother Lynne Gayford.

A gold coin donation will go to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation to help translate books into first languages, and improve reading literacy in remote regions of Australia. 

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The 2015 report of the federal government's Close the Gap program, which attempts to break down the disparity in equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, shows that school attendance rates reached as low as 14 percent in some remote areas of the country.

Targets not on track include the effort to halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy capabilities of Indigenous children by 2018.

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There was no significant improvement in reading and numeracy has shown no statistically significant improvement for the the proportion of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students at or above the minimum national standards between 2008-2014.

There is an approximate 2.5 years gap between non-Indigenous and Indigenous literacy rates in Australia, according to the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment from the Australia Council for Educational Research.

Songtress Jessica Mauboy, Indigenous Literacy Day's newest ambassador is set to sing at the Opera House on Wednesday for the day dedicated to improving erading and writing of Australia's first children.

Other ambassadors include Deborah Cheetham, Ursula Yovich, Alison Lester and Justine Clarke.